Another night, and another close game, what else is new. Jon Lester turned in his best start of 2015, his only issue was Billy Hamilton who reached base twice, stole three bases, and scored twice. Other than that, Lester was brilliant as he struck out ten in his six innings of work. The Cubs were paced offensively by an Anthony Rizzo two run dinger, and a huge game tying solo shot by Chris Coghlan in the seventh. After watching Jason Motte get out of bases loaded trouble in the bottom of the tenth, Jonathan Herrera came up with a big hit in the eleventh. Herrera lined a base hit to right which scored Rizzo, got Bryant to third, and Herrera took second on the throw. Both of those guys scored on a bases loaded David Ross double which put this one out of reach.
Rizzo’s two run blast.
I’m so glad the Cubs didn’t cancel the season after Sunday, because that was fun. It was a pitchers day at Wrigley, but I’m not sure if 80 degrees and sun would have mattered as Jake Arrieta, and Lance Lynn were brilliant. Luckily for the Cubs, Arrieta was better, but not by much. Both guys were dealing, and the winning run came as a result of a hit batter, and a wild throw on a pick-off, go figure. After Rizzo was hit by a pitch in the 7th, and advanced to second on said wild pick-off, Starlin Castro delivered the game winning single, it was a super lazy single though…
Back to Arrieta, early on he didn’t have his best stuff as he had to battle through trouble in the first and third inning before settling into a groove. Arrieta worked seven scoreless innings, giving up three hits while walking three, and striking out seven en route to his first win of the season. For the second straight game the Cubs bullpen displayed just how dangerous they could be, dangerous in a good way, not a Carlos Marmol way. Phil Coke, Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon combined to pitch the last two innings with Rondon picking up his first save of the season.
No matter how the game is going right now, Cubs fans and players alike are just expecting the worst and once again the Cubs delivered. Rafael Dolis buried a 2-2 sinker into the ribs of the “dangerous” Matt Hague with the bases loaded to give the Pirates the win. Common theme during this streak and really the whole year, the Cubs never allow themselves to get beat, they beat themselves. Once again an opponent was trying to give up an out with a sac bunt in the ninth and Dolis couldn’t get a pitch close enough to the strike zone for the hitter to offer at it and he walked him. The inning would have been much different with McCutchen up with one out and a guy at second instead of 1st and 2nd and no outs. Anyway, Paul Maholm struggled with his command but battled his way through five innings in his return to Pittsburgh settling for a no decision. Alfonso Soriano was 1-for-4 at the plate with his 5th home run of the season, his solo shot brought the Cubs back to within one in the 4th inning. Starlin Castro was 1-for-4 at the plate as well with a big two-out RBI triple in the 5th inning to tie the game at two. Unfortunately for the Cubs they only managed six hits, and couldn’t string anything together, one thing they are good at stringing together is losses, the streak now sits at 11. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
On a day when a little leaguer, a small one, could have hit a ball out of Wrigley the Cubs managed no runs on five hits en route to their sixth straight loss. Not only that, but they were swept by the Sox at home, which is pretty much the low point of the season. The Cubs were outscored 15-6 in the series and really had no shot yesterday or today. Paul Maholm looked good early on but couldn’t keep the ball down the longer the game went, couple that with the wind blowing straight out and that equals a disaster. Maholm went 6 and 1/3rd while giving up five runs on nine hits, he was tagged with the loss which drops him to 4-3 on the season.
The Cubs approach at the plate was better, but still not good enough. Waytoo many times hitters are going to the plate with one thing on their mind, swing. It doesn’t matter if the pitch is a strike, the situation doesn’t matter either. Bryan LaHair had one of his better games in the last week as he went 1-for-2 with two walks, that was basically it. The Cubs left the bases loaded twice towards the end of the game which just made the outcome that much more aggravating. Dale Sveum said he will make some lineup changes moving forward because of the lack of offense, that’s all well and good, but if the Cubs approach doesn’t change neither will the outcome. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Another one of those weird games in St. Louis that featured the Cubs pounding out 14 hits, blowing a four run lead and then winning the game 6-4. The Cubs were spraying hits all over the field in the early innings but couldn’t get anything across the plate as they left seven guys on base through four innings. Ryan Dempster was strong once again going six innings and giving up four runs, all in the 6th after the Cardinals got a break on a David Freese check swing that wasn’t ruled as such. Shawn Camp got the win out of the bullpen and he deserved is after going two stellar innings, only surrendering one hit.
The Cubs were clicking at the plate as five different guys had multi-hit games. Starlin Castro was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a miserably failed sac bunt attempt late in the game, the Cubs won so I won’t go on about this. Bryan LaHair seems to be getting out of his funk as he went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI’s. The big hit of the night came from Alfonso Soriano who looped a base-hit into left field with two outs in the 8th to score the eventual winning run in Tony Campana. The Cubs go for the abbreviated sweep this afternoon. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Some nights it’s just not there, this was one of those nights. Randy Wells looked pretty good in the first three innings, problem is he didn’t make it out of the fourth. Someone apparently told Randy that the distance between the rubber and home plate was now 50′ because that’s about as far as half the pitches he threw in the 4th went. Wells was tagged with the loss only going 3 and 2/3rds of an inning and surrendering four runs. The Cubs weren’t much better at the plate as they made Joe Blanton look like someone much better than Joe Blanton. Every Cubs starter had a hit except for Castillo and Stewart, however they couldn’t string anything together and ended up on the short end of a 5-2 decision. Full highlights, and box score after the jump.